Catching up with boosters? ‘The Netherlands always knows better’

Demissionary minister Hugo de Jonge promises โ€œthree million booster pricks before the turn of the yearโ€. Then all over 60s must have received an extra corona apricot. The additional staff required to do so can report on a dedicated website.

The offensive follows harsh criticism. The Netherlands is in the back of Europe when it comes to booster pricks. With an offensive, in which the number of pricks set will be increased to 700,000 per week in the coming weeks, De Jonge wants to catch up.

But according to Roel Coutinho, microbiologist and former director Center for Infectious Disease Control of the RIVM, it is very late. โ€œThe vaccination campaign has not been going well from the start. If something suddenly happens, people don‘t respond quickly to that. In mid-September, the Health Council recommended that preparations be made for a quick booster shot. The fact that a plan was not immediately made at that time is very curious.โ€

Coutinho lacks self-criticism. โ€œTo do better next time. We often seem to know better. Other countries have taken a different approach. The effect here is that the willingness in people is declining. The policy leads to confusion, there is no consistent approach. Everyone knew the boosting was coming, but there was no plan. Wondrous. We are missing a good logistical management, right from the start. More can be done and there needs to be more, also for the future.โ€

Data analyst Yorick Bleijenberg hopes that De Jonge will reach the intended pace and even step up. โ€œIf we had started earlier, we could have been on three million jabs during Sinterklaas.โ€ He analyzed a ‘full-gas approach‘ for that. โ€œThen, the day after the advice of the health council came out, we would immediately start with 100,000 pricks a day, a pace that we only reach in two weeks now.โ€

Red box

Half a year ago, 2.8 million people in the Netherlands had received two pricks. Actually, they should have had their booster by now, but the Netherlands is only on a small 300,000 pricks. These are the pricks for people with an immune disorder, more than 100,000, and the number of booster pricks set 173,000.

By the way, in processing all data, Bleijenberg already took into account on 17 August that the booster shot was coming. โ€œWith a red box! I didn’t expect it to last until November.โ€

Check out his different scenarios below.

Anyone who wants to have a booster shot can get it in the seventh month after the last vaccination, De Jonge said today. From January, people under sixty will come in turn. That goes from old to young.

General practitioners, military and home care staff can accelerate the booster campaign. They all offer to help with pricks. The GGD has also asked Defence to help with pricks.